AJWS Invites Community to Fight Global Hunger With Money Saved From Yom Kippur Fast

New York, NY; September 13, 2010—In an appeal called Reflect Back: Fast Forward, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) has asked American Jews to donate the money they would have spent on food, were they not fasting on Yom Kippur, to AJWS’s grantees fighting hunger in the developing world.

The appeal, which is part of AJWS’s Fighting Hunger From the Ground Up campaign, reads:

“On Yom Kippur morning, we will hear the familiar, 2,000 year-old call to action as we chant the Haftarah from Isaiah: ‘This is the fast I desire . . . to let the oppressed go free; to share your bread with the hungry . . .’ This year, let us heed our ancient prophet’s call to action.

“This Yom Kippur, support American Jewish World Service’s campaign, Reflect Back: Fast Forward, by donating the ‘savings’ from your fast—the money you would ordinarily spend on a day’s worth of food—to support AJWS’s efforts to combat hunger around the world.”

Every day, more than one billion people worldwide go hungry and one child dies every six seconds from hunger-related causes. AJWS’s Fighting Hunger from the Ground Up campaign aims to build awareness in the American Jewish community regarding the roots of hunger, to emphasize that Jews have an obligation to participate in the struggle against hunger, and to provide channels for Jews to get involved through grassroots advocacy and by supporting sustainable food production in the developing world.

Donations made to Reflect Back: Fast Forward will allow AJWS to expand its work to support grassroots organizations that fight hunger by teaching methods of sustainable farming, protecting land from degradation, securing access to water and high quality seeds, and ensuring that small-scale farmers have the means to store, market and sell their harvests.

“For those of us who choose to fast as a Jewish practice, Yom Kippur is an opportunity to contemplate global injustice and take meaningful action to help those all over the world for whom fasting is not a ritual, but a chronic reality,” said AJWS president Ruth Messinger. “Focusing on global hunger this Yom Kippur is a fitting way to imbue our fast with a renewed sense of urgency and commitment to Isaiah’s charge—to harness our tradition for the purpose of making the world a more just place.”

Donations to Reflect Back: Fast Forward can be made at www.ajws.org/hunger.

For More Information

If you are a member of the press and wish to obtain information about our work or speak to a member of our global team on deadline, please contact Tanyanika Davis, Director of Media Relations, at tdavis@ajws.org.